Pacquiao: Listen to what your body says

Manny Pacquiao opens his Gensan Training Camp with a five-round sparring session with Filipino Jerich Chavez and Australian George Kambosos Jr. at the Pacman Wildcard Gym in General Santos City, Philippines. He sparred for three rounds with Chavez and two with Kambosos. (Photos by Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions)

While admitting that his odometer may be loaded with mileage, Manny Pacquiao remains engrossed in training and treats his January 19 showdown with Adrien Broner as a test for how much farther he can go.

“When you start to age, you listen to your body,” Pacquiao told a few scribes after his final training session in Manila.

“You don’t train as if you are still that young because at this age, your body doesn’t recover as fast (when you were still young),” said Pacquiao, who turns 40 on Dec. 17.

“If you keep on pushing when your body is telling you to stop, that’s the time when you suffer from a burnout,” said Pacquiao.

Still, Pacquiao, whose scheduled 12-rounder with Broner at the MGM Grand will be his first defense of the World Boxing Association welterweight crown, insists that he is not cutting down on the quality of his training.

“I always work hard when it is training day. I still push myself to the limit when my body tells me that I can still do more,” he said, adding that his free time consists of doing cross-training, like playing high-octane basketball.

During his last training session in Manila Wednesday night, Pacquiao did the mitts with lead trainer Buboy Fernandez and was subjected to a series of plyometric exercises under strength coach Justin Fortune.

Pacquiao is now in General Santos City where he will train and celebrate his birthday before flying to the US on Dec. 22.

Fortune is going ahead to have his own gym ready in case Pacquiao opts out of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

“That’s a Plan B,” said Fortune as he raised the likelihood the training staff won’t be comfortable at Roach’s famous sweat shop on Vine Street.

Roach is still involved in Pacquiao’s training but will have limited participation as Fernandez is taking the lead role.